From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Foreground \Fore"ground`\, n.
   On a painting, and sometimes in a bas-relief, mosaic picture,
   or the like, that part of the scene represented, which is
   nearest to the spectator, and therefore occupies the lowest
   part of the work of art itself. Cf. Distance, n., 6.
   [1913 Webster]
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